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Leak Behind a Finished Wall?

How do you find a leak behind a finished wall?

Find the wall that most water seems to be coming from, clean up the water, and start assessing the situation:

  • Go outside and look at the concrete above grade, see if there are any cracks, voids or irregularities.
  • Remove the drywall, sheetrock or paneling on the leaking wall. 
  • Most common places that leaks happen: wall cracks, corners of windows, tie rods, floor/wall seams, where additions meet the foundation.
  • Go outside and find the problem area and run a hose to see if water is going through. How to check with the water hose test - run water near the crack or problem area for 45 mins, turn off the water for 15 minutes, check inside to see if any water made it through. You might have to try up to 3 times to allow the water time to get through the wall.
  • Utility room - check around the electic panel (check for rust or a puddle), check around water/sewer/gas pipes, water tanks, furnace condensate pump box, etc.
  • If you don't find a culprit for your leak, it might be the water table rising - check under rugs, are there cracks in the floor? Any white powdery residue? The best solution is to install a sump pump.
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